If you’ve heard the business adage, “people are hired for their talents and fired for their behavior,” and are currently confronted with one or more bad situations, you’re realizing how true it is. Bad employee behavior is a terrible experience because it takes your focus of what’s most important. Unlike employee theft, it’s a lot more complicated to deal with because it often doesn’t constitute severing the relationship. It can be annoying and frustrating, but it certainly can’t be tolerated. Even the most likable employee can be one who has a bad behavior, and, when that’s the case, you should retain their talent, but, be free of complications.
How to Stop Bad Employee Behaviors
When employees behave in a way that’s non-productive or counter-productive it has a ripple effect, especially when you don’t address it. Allowing it to continue unchecked is an invitation to bigger problems. You’ll be perceived as weak and/or disinterested and that greatly undermines your role as a business owner. Because you do own the company, other employees will most definitely expect you take ownership of the situation. What’s more, micromanaging or attempting to circumvent with half-measures will only make things go from bad to worse.
Bad behaviors in the workplace decrease productivity, hurt morale and may cost the company business. Whether you’re dealing with a minor problem, such as chronic lateness, or something major, like falsifying financial reports, prompt attention to the issue is key. Establishing a standard for behavior sets the expectations for employees to follow. When someone ignores the standards, a following a strict discipline procedure helps to correct the situation. —Houston Chronicle
The problem for many entrepreneurs is they would much rather put their time and effort into propelling the company forward, not “babysitting.” When you stop to think about it, though, you’ll come to the conclusion that’s not possible if you don’t deal with bad behavior. You’re allowing your company to be undermined and even if you don’t possess confrontational skills, you can motivate yourself by pondering what’s at-stake. While it won’t necessarily be easy, you can take control over these bad employee behaviors:
- Procrastinating. Regardless if your company is a startup or established, you’ll inevitably run into procrastinators. While these individuals might produce high-quality work, they do so at the last minute. For obvious reasons, this won’t sync well with keeping things on-track. If you encounter this, try a personal plea, letting him or her know you’re relying on them to get things done.
- Infighting. This is one of the most toxic behaviors employee can engage in and one of the most unpleasant. Bring these individuals together and let them know infighting isn’t going to be tolerated. Let them know you’re disappointed and explain the important opportunity that could be wasted. Have them apologize and do not hesitate to intervene if it starts again.
- Bullying. You’ve probably experienced a bullying boss in your own life and know full-well just how destructive this behavior is. It causes animosity and demoralizes those on the receiving end. Bring this to the aggressor’s attention because he or she might not be aware of it. If he or she is obtuse and does not acknowledge said behavior, set an ultimatum and stick to it.
- Drama-stirring. Oftentimes, employees who stir drama are venting in an unconventional way. They are trying to unload burdens but doing so in a way that creates more problems. Speak to him or her individually and try to get to the bottom of the problem. Then, let him or her know your door is always open.
- Credit-stealing. This is a disastrous undermining behavior that creates resentment and fuels anger. When you learn one employee is taking credit for another’s work, let him or her know you know about it and won’t tolerate such behavior. Then, extend an olive branch by offering to help him or her discover their strength and use it productively.
- Leadership is not for Wimps. If you are struggling to have that crucial conversation with an employee, this is a critical juncture for you if you are to become the leader you need to be to succeed in your business. Remember, you are not running a charitable organization. You are running a for profit business, and that requires every employee to contribute value and an ROI (Return On Investment). If you are not getting a value and return for your investment into the employee(s), then you need to make changes. What employees, in your business, do you need to have a crucial conversation with today?